Since Dutch colonists discovered it in 1914, Gunung Padang has been known (though not widely) as the largest of a number of ancient megalithic sites in Indonesia.
And while the pyramids in Egypt are still generally regarded as being 5,000 years old, some of the structures in place at Gunung Padang are thought to be between 11,000 and 24,000 years old!
Geologist Dr Danny Hillman believes the site may have been used for worship or astronomy.
If this is true, prehistoric people would have had to manoeuvre chunks of volcanic rock onto terraces built on the mountainside and stack them on top of each other to create a pyramid – a considerable feat of ancient engineering.
Dr Hilman, a senior geologist at Indonesia’s Centre for Geotechnical Research, says that proof of the structure’s organisation lies underground.
His excavations have been backed by the Indonesian government, which recently decreed that the upper part of Gunung Padang is ‘the largest megalithic structure in south-east Asia,’
Dr Hilman said: ‘People think the prehistoric age was primitive, but this monument proves that wrong.’
He believes such a pyramid would be proof of an advanced ancient civilisation in Java and said that the majority of the stepped site is man-made, perhaps built by generations over a matter of centuries.
The geologist is now working to establish the authenticity of the site.
Some rocks were originally stuck together with a form of ancient glue and have been carbon dated to be around 7,000 BC.
Dr Hilman said that the ruins hide walls and rooms with steps and terraces below, which are evidence of a complex building.
So is Gunung Padang further evidence of what may have once been an ancient civiliaztion? Like Gobleki Tepe, Gunung Padang is a giant structure that appears to show architectural work far advanced for the time it was built.
Having had their work now endorsed by the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono it can only be hoped that the mysteries at Gunung Padang reveal themselves…